Tina Suprihatin

Ashoka Fellow
Biltar, Jawa Timur, Indonesia
Fellow Since 2003


This profile was prepared when Tina Suprihatin was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2003.
The New Idea
Tina has a compelling vision for the future of the migrant labor field. She is creating legal and organizational structures necessary for migrant issues to be handled locally, on the provincial and district levels, rather than centrally, from Jakarta, as they are largely addressed today. She is aligning the interests of local governments with those of both the workers and the agencies that recruit and process them. By creating a local regulatory framework in which the agencies must operate, which includes fees paid to local government, Tina is also generating money for worker support programs. However, she is not promising the workers government regulation; regulation provides two important structural incentives for citizens and citizen organizations to improve services to migrants. Increased revenue for programs is one incentive, but more fundamental is the new opportunity for local recourse. Such recourse means that organizations are no longer forced to take up every case, every complaint, or every bureaucratic entanglement with the government labor department or company offices in the capital. This shift enables local citizen groups to form and to serve people better, and therefore to expand and develop.
The second half of Tina's work is to create and model the kinds of services possible for workers within a new localized framework. These include pre-departure education, legal advocacy and casework, and family services. These services operate under the aegis of her own program, House of Solidarity, as well as through a radio program aimed at the rural communities where migrants originate and eventually return.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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